Spider's web

Spider's web

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Credit: MICHAEL ABBEY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Spider web silk. Light micrograph of lines of silk from an orb web spun by an unidentified spider. These lines of silk have outer viscous layers that give them adhesive properties. The beads (round) that can be seen on the silk are formed from a sticky gum. These delay the drying out of the adhesive and provide better stopping power to prey hitting the web. Orb webs are aimed exclusively at catching flying insects. An average orb web may contain 20 metres of silk fixed at 1000 junctions. It needs constant rebuilding as its threads become damaged by prey and the adhesive properties are rapidly lost. Magnification: x16 at 6x9cm size.

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Keywords: animal, arachnida, invertebrates, light micrograph, nature, orb, orb web, silk, silk lines, spider, spider web, strands, web, wildlife, zoology

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